A new car platform, designed to help Tata improve its global car sales, is claimed to “leapfrog” VW's current MBQ technology
13 November 2013

Tata Motors plans on going global with its future range of vehicles and has planned its portfolio for the next six years, according to company MD Karl Slym. 

Although the company has more success with its commercial vehicles, Tata wants to build a family of world-class passenger cars, which will all be based on a new, flexible, Volkswagen Group-style architecture dubbed the Advanced Modular Platform (AMP).

Replacing today’s ageing road car lineup (which includes the Indica hatch, the model that became the City Rover in 2003) is a priority for the maker, which has been suffering in the recent sharp downturn in the Indian market. 

According to a report in the Australian media, the new platform will “leapfrog” what the Volkswagen Group has already achieved. Dr Tim Leverton, Tata Motors’ head of research and development, told the Sydney Morning Herald that VW had gone through “six or seven generations” of products to get where it was today, but that Tata would “go directly to a very interesting solution”. 

The AMP, he said, would not only be flexible in length, but it would also be properly flexible in width. This extra level of flexibility should enable the AMP platform to underpin all sizes of cars from superminis to crossovers. 

Slym told the Indian press that the planning to send Tata international began last year and that all of the new cars in the development pipeline are designed for sale globally.

Tata is likely to focus on fuel efficiency, connectivity and innovation, he said.

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13 November 2013
Tata is really in a bad shape here in India. Tata Xenon, Aria are a major flop. Nano sales is very low too because of the 'cheapness' associated with it and many prefer to buy second hand car instead. Tata Indica car is mainly bought as 'taxi' and since its the cheapest roomiest diesel car you can buy, hence 'normal' people are not buying them any more. Indicas are like the (old) Lancias in UK. They get rust even in the showroom. Build quality is very worst and they are built for a price. I am not surprised it is listed in the "Top gear worst car list" as Rover. Tata need help from British Engineers to build cars, they have testing facility in Nurburgring and should test them with the German engineers. They should design cars through Italians.

13 November 2013
One might imagine that the owner of Jaguar and Land Rover and indeed of the Rover brand could make the leap from second rate to world-class without too much trouble. One might have expected by now a new range of family cars under a Tata or Rover brand to have popped up by now, replacing or complementing the old Tatas, in global markets, including Europe.

13 November 2013
Neither half of JLR has produced a small car let alone at a profit, and probably wouldn't know where to begin. Also: Rover? That's Chinese not Indian.

13 November 2013
[quote=Bullfinch]Also: Rover? That's Chinese not Indian.[/quote] No, that's not true. The JLR part of Tata owns all rights to the Rover name. After BMW sold Rover Group to Phoenix in 2000, it retained ownership of the Rover brand (but not MG), allowing MG Rover to use the Rover name under licence. When MG Rover then collapsed in 2005, the MG brand was sold to Nanjing (subsequently taken over by SAIC). BMW then sold the Rover name to Ford - at that time the owner of Jaguar and Land Rover. When Ford went on to sell JLR to Tata, the Rover name was also passed on. SAIC was able to put the old MG ZT (and others) into production in China, as it owned the MG name. But for other versions of the same car it created the new Roewe brand. In theory, Tata could re-launch the Rover brand on a range of passenger cars, even though that's probably very unlikely.

13 November 2013
Kind of you to take the bother, although as you say it's unlikely they'd bother. Even owning the rights to the name means nothing in terms of expertise, however, and whatever expertise they have at JLR it doesn't include building cars at a profit when the margins are small. Indeed until recently they couldn't build cars at a profit at all.

14 November 2013
[quote=Paul123][quote=Bullfinch]Also: Rover? That's Chinese not Indian.[/quote] No, that's not true. The JLR part of Tata owns all rights to the Rover name. After BMW sold Rover Group to Phoenix in 2000, it retained ownership of the Rover brand (but not MG), allowing MG Rover to use the Rover name under licence. When MG Rover then collapsed in 2005, the MG brand was sold to Nanjing (subsequently taken over by SAIC). BMW then sold the Rover name to Ford - at that time the owner of Jaguar and Land Rover. When Ford went on to sell JLR to Tata, the Rover name was also passed on. SAIC was able to put the old MG ZT (and others) into production in China, as it owned the MG name. But for other versions of the same car it created the new Roewe brand. In theory, Tata could re-launch the Rover brand on a range of passenger cars, even though that's probably very unlikely.[/quote] I didn't know that, I thought BMW still owned the Rover name. You learn something new every day :)

13 November 2013
Tata have ably demonstrated with JLR that not only are they able to attract the management talent needed to develop and profitably sell quality products, but they are also willing to play the long game and provide the investment required in support of their product plans. The Indica was lauded when it was first launched in India in 1998 - they just need to continue to invest in the engineering required, which I suspect they are now doing. Lets not forget that not long ago, the Koreans were producing some pretty cheap and nasty cars.

13 November 2013
TATA motors should use the TATA brand on their trucks and busses and rebrand to Rover on their passenger vehicles and small SUV's if their intention is to leap frog in the design and quality stakes. This would give them a three tier brand of Rover, Jaguar and Land Rover/ Range Rover. They could even go one better by creating a super premium brand using the Daimler badge for a larger more premium car and then also go for a real budget brand using the Austin badge. TATA have the advantage of some well known brands and could change their sales targets in just one model life just as Renault did with Dacia.

Optima2

14 November 2013
[quote=optima]...and then also go for a real budget brand using the Austin badge.[/quote] Even if TATA wanted to do this, it couldn't. Ownership of the old 'BL' marques are as follows: BMW owns both Triumph and Riley. SAIC owns Austin, Morris, Austin-Healey, Vanden Plas and Wolseley. Then there are the individual model names, with the likes of Metro, Maxi, Dolomite, Spitfire and Stag belonging to BMW, while SAIC owns Vitesse, Westminster, Midget and Princess. The Chinese have some historically interesting brands there. Will we see a low-cost SAIC-built car badged as the Morris Minor at some point? Probably not...

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